Three outstanding Long Beach Unified School District teachers have been selected as 2006 Teachers of the Year. Joyce King teaches second grade at Gompers Elementary School. Patricia Nelson teaches fourth grade at Burcham Elementary School. Sherwin Reyes teaches fifth grade at Addams Elementary School. The three were honored at a recent luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles County Office of Education for top teachers throughout the county. Joyce King challenges each student and makes a point of helping them take responsibility for their own learning. "I have high expectations for each and every child," she said. King also emphasizes creating conditions for a child’s social skills to grow. Patricia Nelson’s underlying philosophy of teaching stresses instilling a passion for learning so that students feel encouraged and comfortable. "I make my classroom as nurturing as possible for every child who comes in my door," she said. "When we feel that acceptance, we can make mistakes and know that those around us will not look down on us but rather give us credit for trying." Sherwin Reyes used her early struggles as a teacher as motivation for her own professional growth. "To turn things around, I sought out colleagues who were having success with their students, and I scheduled time during my off-track periods to observe and talk with them," she said. "I did lots of professional reading and attended onsite and LBUSD staff development that targeted my greatest areas of weakness. As my knowledge increased, so did the effectiveness of my teaching. It was exhausting, but exhilarating."